I head to Meriwether one last time for breakfast, but first, I take the trail in the other direction — west, towards Boonville — and get in a quick 5-mile ride. This direction takes you through the famous train tunnel, and it’s amazing acoustics. Also, the colors it casts are remarkable. After that, I enjoy eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Then, I’m away. Next time, the first ride I’ll take is Rocheport to Boonville, about 20 miles round-trip.
I drive an hour to Dutzel, in the heard of wine country, not too far from Hermann. I’m sad my trip is nearly over, and the country roads, which pretty, are a bit nausea-inducing. But I’d read about a great deli at Dutzel, so I press on. And in fact, there is a cool spot right at the trailhead there. I’m feeling a bit ill, so I only buy water. Next time, I’ll plan better for Dutzel.
I pedal west to get in another quick five miles, and have another surprise encounter — the kind that makes the Katy so special. In about two miles, there’s a turn off to visit Daniel Boone’s original gravesite. He was removed to Kentucky later, but Boone and his family were originally buried just outside Dutzel. Some believe he’s still there, that the movers grabbed the wrong body. The grave site sits on private property, but freely accessible, and it’s dripping in history. Another stone is marked “War of 1812 veteran.” I soak it in and pedal back to Dutzel, with another winery on my list to visit.
The final assault is next. I meander my way to Augusta, dreaming of another shady and my final 5-mile ride. Along the way, I pass over a ridge that overlooks just-turning fall leaves as pretty as anything in New England. There are a dozen wineries, and its Friday afternoon, so I have a little company on the roads. Another spot on the trip I’ll hurry back to.
I finally pull into Augusta and pedal my way to 100. Then, I turn off my mileage tracker and slowly pedal back to my car. Mentally, I’m already deciding that my next Katy adventure will be even longer, even better, and involve more wineries. But this time, I drink my beer at Augusta and have a final chat with Missourians all too eager to hear about my century-mile ride. It’s getting late, it’s getting dark, and I plan on making Louisville by bedtime. So I have to go. I tear myself away after half a beer, and drive on, in a few minutes, on the interstate. I’m sad, but I relish this thought.
In all, I’d pedaled on 50 of the Katy Trail’s 250-ish miles. There’s plenty more to see on my next visit. And yours!